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All Feature works are eligible for this prize.
$1,500 cash prize
Jury statement: Moving On is a tender coming of age story told through the point of view of a teenage girl who moves to a suburb of Seoul with her recently divorced father and younger brother to care for a dying grandfather. The jury was impressed by debut Director Yoon Dan-bi’s depiction of the delicate and complex dynamics of a multi-generational family. Their love is told through small gestures and quiet but poignant scenes of joy, change and grief.
In addition to the two features receiving Best Feature and Best First Feature, the jury – consisting of Carrianne Leung, Danis Goulet, and myself, Melissa Bisagni – are compelled to present a Special Jury Mention to the film Mogul Mowgli; an allegorical dreamscape chronicling the oftentimes paralysing creative process. Emerging from a haze of dust our hero faces his legacy and his future: this story is both ancient and evolving, for the insider and the outsider. We look forward to seeing more from these compelling filmmakers, and all filmmakers parsing out and sharing the complex narratives of the diaspora.
All first feature films are eligible for this prize.
$1,000 cash prize
Jury statement: This captivating debut is a searing critique of social hierarchy that captures the heart-wrenching struggles of the working class in contemporary South Korea. The jury was struck by Park Hee-kwon’s deft use of narrative minimalism and his suspension of viewers in a relentless, intriguing genre-bender that explores the lengths a young woman will go to in order to get by.
All short works made by emerging Canadian artists (fewer than 4 films) are eligible for this prize of post-production services
Jury statement: The winner of this year’s award showcased innovation and brought their story to life with gorgeous visuals and a profound story. We are so pleased to announce the winner of the NFB Best Canadian Short Film Award to Safe Among Stars, directed by Jess X. Snow!
All Canadian short films and videos are eligible for this prize. Opportunity to broadcast on Air Canada’s in-flight entertainment screens on international flights.
Jury Statement: This year, we chose six films for the Air Canada Short Film or Video Award and together they serve as a wonderful cross section of Asian cinema not just from Canada but around the world:
This first film put a huge smile on our faces. In what has been an absolutely dreadful year, this film serves not just as a delightful tonic, but also a thoughtful exploration of how art and fiction is used to grapple with our past traumas.
In an exploration of the unmappable networks within our communities, this experimental piece left an unshakeable impression on the jury and only rings deeper as we’ve receded into our homes and away from the outside world this year.
It’s not everyday you see a thriller that surprises you and this film handily executed one visual trick after another to create a true sense of anxiety and dread.
The next film demonstrates strong directorial control of tension and expectation, with a horror story that takes revenge on the male gaze.
In what may very well be the most emotional film you see this year, Tiffany Hsiung presents a portrait of the connection between mothers and daughters that has been decades in the making.
Last but not least, in a brief but complex exploration of her relationship with her parents, Kim Hayung reminds us that the routines that make you most uncomfortable can also help you see your loved ones most clearly.
All animated works are eligible for this prize, donated by Michael Fukushima and Animasian Award founder Ann Marie Fleming.
$600 cash prize
Jury statement: A beautiful audio visual work that indulges all the senses together while exploring a complex theme questioning a world that is not designed for you.The winner of Animasian Award this year is Isle of Chair directed by Ivvy Chen.
We, the juries, understand that we only have one spot for the Animasian Award winner. However we feel that Tiger and Ox directed by Seunghee Kim deserved the honorable mention because it stands out as a witty animation showing a fresh perspective of mother and daughter relationship having an impactful conversation. Their complete raw trust was shown precisely as it is and you can feel their love.
All documentary films are eligible for this $1,250 cash prize, donated by Karla Bobadilla, Diang Iu, Immanuel Lanzaderas, Sonia Sakamoto-Jog and Victoria Shen.
Jury statement: At this critical moment in history, Down a Dark Stairwell is a film that should not be missed. The jury selected this film for its thoughtful and balanced look at the divisiveness of the issue of anti-Black racism within the Asian American community, and its important reminder that no one cultural group is monolithic.
All films made by female-identified Ontario-based artists are eligible for this prize. $500 in programming gift certificates and one-year membership to WIFT-T.
Jury statement: This film brought us to the edge of our seats and left a huge smile on our faces. It was fun, exciting and heartwarming and we cannot wait to see what this filmmaker brings to the table next. The winner of this year’s WIFT-T Film Award is Lola’s Wake directed by Tricia Hagoriles.
All filmmakers under the age of 30 are eligible for this prize.
$500 cash prize
Jury statement: In a world where some countries are at the vanguard of LGBTQ rights movement and many more are decades behind, this film is trying to discard the label and portray a human striving. What is magical about this film is the high entertainment quality and satisfying ending. It allows the story to speak to a wider audience and hopefully will raise even more positive awareness. The Change Connect Award in 2020 goes to God’s Daughter Dances Directed by Sungbin Byun
The winner of the Reel Asian Audience Award—Feature is selected through a tally of votes from the viewers of the 24th edition Toronto Reel Asian International Film Festival.
$1,500 cash prize
The winner of the Reel Asian Audience Award—Short Film is selected through a tally of votes from the viewers of the 24th edition Toronto Reel Asian International Film Festival.
$750 cash prize
Carrianne Leung is a fiction writer and educator. Her debut novel, The Wondrous Woo was shortlisted for the 2014 Toronto Book Awards. Her collection stories, That Time I Loved You was named one of CBC’s Best Books of 2018.She is currently working on a new novel, titled The After.
Melissa Bisagni is the Media Initiatives Program Manager at the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of the American Indian (NMAI), in Washington, DC. She was previously the Director of Programming for the DC Asian Pacific American Film Festival where she is a senior advisor
Danis Goulet is a writer and director. Her films have screened at Berlin, Sundance and the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF). She is a former programmer for TIFF and a former director of the imagineNATIVE Film + Media Arts Festival. Her debut feature NIGHT RAIDERS is currently in post production.
Mandeq Hassan has spent years working extensively in the film industry. Hassan has been a key member of the Toronto-based distribution company Sisterhood Media and her credits include popular works Gay Mean Girls and The Regent Park Project. She received the 2019 Director’s Guild of Canada New Visions Award.
Ammar Keshodia is a filmmaker and curator. He has worked on the programming teams for festivals such as TIFF, SXSW, and Overlook. In 2019, he served as the Lead Programmer at Reelworld Film Festival. He has written for publications such as Bright Wall/Dark Room, NANG Magazine, and Peephole Journal.
Fransiska Prihadi is an architect, co-founder of art-house cinema MASH Denpasar and has been the program director of Minikino Film Week, Bali International Short Film Festival since 2015. She is now working on her research thesis about international short film festivals for her Master of Tourism Studies at Udayana University.
*All decisions made by the juries are final and binding and not subject to appeal.